Huckleberry Pie

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 10 servings
  • Prep 30 mins
  • Cook 75 mins

Huckleberries are smaller and sweeter than commercially-raised blueberries, but blueberries can easily substitute in this pie.

Huckleberry Pie
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Frozen wild Maine blueberries, often available at Safeway markets, make a fine substitute for wild Montana huckleberries.

Ingredients

Pastry:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry measuring cups to overflowing and sweep off excess with a straight edge)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup Crisco, at room temperature, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons ice water
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Filling:
1 cup plue 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 cups fresh or partially thawed frozen huckleberries or wild blueberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

  1. To prepare pastry, stir together flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter pieces and work them into the flour using a pastry blender or two knives until the butter is the size of small peas. Add shortening and work it into the flour until the pieces of shortening are about the same size as the butter pieces. Combine ice water and vinegar. Add to the flour mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time while tossing with a fork. Continue mixing until dough just gathers into a ball. Divide dough into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate about 2 hours.
  2. Roll larger piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle and fit it into a 9-inch pie plate (ovenproof glass preferable). Do not trim off excess pastry. Refrigerate.
  3. To prepare filling, combine 1 cup sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Add huckleberries (if frozen, be sure berries are half-thawed before using) and lemon juice and fold gently to combine well. Let stand 15 minutes. (Important to do this to soften the tapioca).
  4. Preheat oven to 450F.
  5. To assemble pie, roll the second piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch circle. Cut 1-inch wide strips. Spoon huckleberry filling into the pastry-lined pan and dome it slightly. Distribute butter pieces evenly over filling. Use a pastry brush to moisten the edges of the bottom pastry. Weave strips in a lattice over top of filling. Press edges together firmly, folding them back on themselves to make a standing rim; flute edges. Brush lattice with water. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  6. Put pie onto the heavy baking sheet on the lower rack and bake 25 minutes. Carefully transfer the pie with the baking sheet to center rack. Reduce oven temperature to 350F, and bake until pastry is a deep golden brown and pie juices bubble thickly, about 50 minutes more. Let pie cool pie completely, at least several hours, before cutting and serving. If you cut pie too soon, the filling will run. Once it has reached room temperature, you can refrigerate the pie 3 to 4 hours to hasten the setting. Serves 10.

Note: Trout Lake Mushroom Company (509-395-2835) ships fresh huckleberries from August to September. The company then freezes its leftover berries and sells them frozen until they run out. Both fresh and frozen cost $30 to $40 for 5 pounds, enough for 3 pies.

Recipe by Greg Patent.

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